|Kuratau Power Station Sign
Lake Kuratau is a place that not so many people, even Taupo locals have heard of. It’s back inland from the settlement of Kuratua and it is the head waters for the Kuratau Dam and Kuratau Power Station which are operated by King Country Energy.
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The Taupo Winter Festival is four day annual event which showcases many kinds of arts from the 13th to the 16th of July 2017. This is during the July School Holidays and is put on by the One Taupo Trust.
There are lots of free activities for families as well as paid performances and exhibitions. Most of the activities in the festival are held either in the Great Lake Centre or on the Taupo Domain.
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The population of Taupo has been growing quickly over the last few years as the local economy has improved and Taupo’s facilities have grown in number.
The population of Taupo depends on whether you are talking about the township or whether you were talking about the district.
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|Waikato River At Reids Farm
Reids Farm (soon to be renamed Hipapatua) is a park beside the Waikato River on the Huka Falls Road where free camping subject to certain rules is allowed.
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Craters Of The Moon is a well known Taupo tourist attraction visited by thousands of people every year. It’s located to the south of the Wairakei Gold Course on the same side of State Highway 1 (SH1). It’s run by a charitable trust, The Craters Of The Moon Charitable Trust which was established in 1991.
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The Otumuheke Stream is also know by locals as the Pig Farm as many years ago there was actually a pig farm close to the location. It’s a hot water stream that forms some nice bathing pools just before it meets the Waikato River.
These pools are a great (and free) place to enjoy some of the geothermal water that results from the volcanic geography of the Taupo Region.
Vehicles can be parked in the car park at the top of the hill which is adjacent to the Stream. This is an area that has a high level of thefts so it’s a good idea not to leave any items in a vehicle that you leave in the car park. Break-ins to vehicles in this area are common despite frequent visits from the local Police.
Up until a few years ago there was vehicle access from the Spa Hotel right to the top of the pools and this was great because you could keep a watchful eye on your vehicle and there was not far to walk to your vehicle after your swim. But that lower road was closed by the owners and now the only parking is at the top of the hill in Spa Thermal Park or possibly outside the Spa Hotel.
It takes a few minutes to walk down from the car park to the pools and you will generally find that there are other people in the pools even quite late into the evening and night.
If you are wanting to do the walk from Huka Falls To Spa Thermal Park then the Stream makes a great place to stop and soak your tired muscles in hot water at the end of your tramp.
The Waikato River is quite swift around the outlet of the Otumuheke Stream. And if it’s Summer and you feel like a cold swim be aware that the River is only for very strong swimmers and perhaps out-of-town people should not attempt it.
But some locals for years have been swimming from the Stream’s outlet to Reid’s Farm further down the Waikato River.